Underrated Heroes and Villains – Day 24: Black Spider

Underrated Heroes and Villains – Day 24: Black Spider

 

I hope everyone out there has been enjoying my articles.

We’re almost done; here we are at day 24 with just 4 days left. Tonight I’m going to do another villain. Let me introduce you to DC Comics Black Spider. Now there have been few characters in the DC universes, but I’m going to be talk about the very first one. The Black Spider real name Eric Needham first appeared in Detective Comics Issue 463 (September 1976).

At a young age Eric Needham would become addicted to heroin. Desperate to find the money his next fix he would turn to a life crime. Eric started off small, with petty muggings. Eric would find himself in trouble with the law after nearly killing an

elderly woman. Because he was a minor he would only service three years. Upon leaving jail he would soon marry his childhood friend

Linda Morrel.  Eric and Linda would soon be blessed with a son Michael. But life as a father and husband were no match to his addiction.  Realizing that there wasn’t enough cold hard cash in muggings; he would soon graduate to armed robbery. On his first attempt, Eric would rob a liquor store. During the robbery a customer would attempt to tackle him. Eric crashing from withdrawal shot and killed the man in cold blood.  By the time Eric realized what he had done it was too late. He was shocked to see the life he just ended belong to his father. 

Eric would find himself locked up again. While on the inside Eric would use this time to kick his habit out of remorse for what he had done. As soon as he was released he would find a new purpose in life. In memory of his father he would don a costume and would become a one man war on drugs. Calling himself the Black Spider, he would set out on the streets killing anyone suspected of dealing drugs in Gotham city. While on his mission to clean the streets he would meet Hanniball Hardwicke, a man who wanted to help him on his way, he would become the Spider’s financial backer supplying him with equipment and missions. Little did the Spider know that Hanniball was really a drug lord, who was just using him to clear out the

competition.

Once The Black Spider had dealt with all of

Hanniball’s competition, Hanniball attempted to kill the Spider but he would escape. This act puts Hanniball on top of The Spider’s to do list. He tracks down Hanniball and has him in his cross hair when he crosses

paths with the Gotham’s Dark Knight, who intervenes. He tried to explain to Batman that he was trying to be like him

bring scum to justice, by any means necessary. Of course Batman having a no kill policy, his would have him at odds with the caped crusader. The two would battle, in the end Batman would win and save

Hannibal sending him to jail and the Spider would escape. Throughout his career the Black Spider would switch from vigilante to costumed criminal. 

He would soon see batman as his enemy.

His productive career had him taking on some of the cities’ badass drug cartels. He was having quite the winning streak cleaning up the streets, until tragedy would strike. He would come home one day to find his wife and son dead, murder by a drug lord by the name of Bret Yale who had discovered his true identity. Linda was given a fatal dose of heroin from Yale’s men. His son Michael was in wrong place at the wrong time. He wakes up hungry and goes into kitchen where he would tragically

sprinkle cereal with what he thought was sugar but was really his mom’s secret stash of heroin.  With nothing left to lose, he would go on one last hunt to take down the scum who killed his family.

He tracked down Yale to his headquarters, where he went in with guns blazing.  Even though the Spider was able to take down most of his man, he would be gunned down in hail of bullets. Critically wounded, the remaining henchman drags him in front of Yale, who was about to kill with the one thing he fought so hard to destroy, heroin. Batman would swing in just in time to stop Yale from delivering a lethal shot of heroin. After taking down all of Yale’s men, Batman would turn his sights on Yale, but before Batman could apprehend Yale, Batman would be pushed out a window by the Black Spider. Batman would survive the fall by grappling to a nearby flag pole. Yale shocked by the Black Spider’s actions would turn to fear when The Spider lifts up the shirt of his costume exposing the plastic explosives that he had strapped to himself. Batman could do nothing but watch in silence as the headquarters explodes, killing everyone inside.

Even though The Black Spider was now dead and sent to hell for all his wrong doing, this would not be the last time we see him. In the Sandman comic’s book series, it seems that the Spider was one of the souls that escaped hell when Lucifer abdicated his throne.

After DC New 52, the Black Spider is still around fight the good fight, but now instead of fight targeting drug lords, he battles super-powered criminals. His new origin has yet to be reviled as to why he hates super-powered criminals. He is last seen as a member of Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad, being forced to work side by side with criminal scum, even though in the New 52 he is not a criminal himself.

Even though he has no real superpowers The Black Spider is a skilled fighter and marksman. He as a full arsenal and his figure tips, but his weapon of choice is a retractable pistol attached to the wrists of his gloves.

Well I hope I made you want to read up on the Black Spider, if so run down to your local comic book shop and pick up Suicide Squad Vol. 3 issues 0 – 16. I do hope you come back here tomorrow for day 25 of

Underrated Black Heroes and Villains. Remember to check out our weekly Geek Brew podcast, which you can now download through iTunes, and you can listen to us on Stitcher. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and the Tumblr.  Also check out http://thegeekbrew.spreadshirt.com/ for all your Geek Brew merchandise. And check out the Geek Brew website at

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Here is tonight’s question:

Who said we both stared into the abyss, but when it looked back at us, you blinked? And when did they say it?